Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution

Permanent URI for this collection

“Educating the Next Generation of Neutrals and Practitioners”

The Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution at Cornell University promotes interdisciplinary education, research and training in dispute resolution for students, academics, neutrals and practitioners.

The Institute builds on the Cornell ILR School’s proud tradition of instruction in the practical use of conflict resolution skills in the workplace and beyond.

In support of its mission, the Scheinman Institute's principal activities involve:

  • Undergraduate and graduate courses and degrees
  • Training and certificate programs for neutrals and professionals
  • Consultation and technical assistance to practitioners and neutrals
  • Scholarly and empirical research and evaluation
  • Conferences, symposia and workshops

In Cornell’s ILR School, the Institute continues its focus on programs dealing with workplace dispute resolution. Through its joint program with the Cornell Law School and relationships with the other Cornell colleges, the Institute addresses commercial, environmental, international, regulatory and other conflicts that arise in the public, private and non-profit sectors as well as in complex litigation where creative conflict resolution can have a meaningful impact.

In all of its activities, the Institute is committed to promoting diversity, cross-cultural understanding and equal opportunities for individuals without regard to race, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability or other protected characteristics.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 73
  • Item
    2022 NAA Member Survey: Diversity, Practice Characteristics and Remote Technologies
    Katz, Harry; Colvin, Alexander; Avgar, Ariel; Nobles, Katrina; Gough, Mark (Cornell University, ILR School, Scheinman Institute, 2023-02)
    In this report, we investigate the professional characteristics, perceptions, and decision-making processes of National Academy of Arbitrators (NAA) neutrals. The survey frame consisted of all NAA members. We administered the survey questionnaire starting in fall 2021 and continuing in 2022 using a combined web-based and physical mailing method. For the web-based administration, neutrals received an initial email requesting their participation with a link to the web-based survey instrument, as well as two follow-up reminders. We then mailed paper copies of the survey to those who requested a physical copy. This combination of web-based and traditional hard-copy mailing yielded [289] useable responses from NAA members, representing a response rate of [43 percent]; this is a respectable response rate and is in line with previous surveys of NAA members.
  • Item
    The Arbitration Profession in Transition: A Survey of the National Academy of Arbitrators
    Picher, Michel; Seeber, Ronald L.; Lipsky, David B. (2000-01-01)
    [From the Foreward]: That the experience, talents, and integrity of the members of the National Academy of Arbitrators are called on to resolve disputes beyond collective bargaining is not surprising. But The Arbitration Profession in Transition shows that this process is far more widespread, and is accelerating, beyond what most of us had speculated. The study provides the baseline for the new century as to the role of Academy members in the expanding use of ADR in employment and in conflicts concerning statutory rights. It is also a remarkable census of who the Academy is, notable for the extraordinarily high participation and cooperation of those studied. It has been compiled with dedication, care, and skill. It is more than a snapshot of a profession; it is an image worthy of contemplation as the Academy, and the users of arbitration and mediation, continue their quest for fairness and equity in the workplace. John Kagel, President –elect, National Academy of Arbitrators, June 1, 2000.
  • Item
    The Appropriate Resolution of Corporate Disputes: A Report on the Growing Use of ADR by U.S. Corporations
    Lipsky, David B.; Seeber, Ronald L. (1998-01-01)
    A quick scan of the business and legal press reveals that, compared with a few years ago, many more disputes are being resolved through negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. The change is an incremental one, on the upper end driven by costly, difficult cases involving business risks that have called for the innovative handling of dispute resolution processes, and on the everyday level driven by the need for lower-cost, streamlined ways to handle growing numbers of ordinary disputes. Policy makers at all levels of government have encouraged this trend. Accompanying this public policy movement, increasing numbers of law firms and corporate legal departments are establishing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practice sections, acquiring expertise or hiring experts in dispute resolution. Many corporations are encouraging the use of ADR not only where it has traditionally been used but also to solve an ever-widening range of conflicts between the corporation and other businesses, individuals, and government agencies. In each of these relationships, it appears that the overwhelming costs of litigation have pushed corporations toward increasing their use of ADR processes. This growing trend and the widespread need for information about appropriate means of resolving corporate disputes motivated us to conduct the survey reported on here.
  • Item
    APPR Teacher Appeals Process Report
    Colvin, Alexander; Klingel, Sally; Boehme, Simon (2014-05-01)
    [Excerpt] The Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) is the new teacher evaluation system adopted by New York State in 2012. Through APPR, each New York State teacher’s performance is evaluated annually. If a teacher is rated Ineffective, he or she must take part in a Teacher Improvement Plan (TIP). If a teacher is rated Ineffective for two consecutive years, the teacher may be dismissed even if that teacher has tenure. Given these potential consequences, the ability to appeal APPR ratings and how those ratings are conducted has been a major issue for teachers and their unions. Under New York Education Law 3012-c, which establishes APPR, each school district negotiates its own APPR procedure with its local teachers union, including any procedures for appealing the performance review. This report examines the APPR appeals procedures established by school districts in order to investigate the following: Which aspects of the APPR process can teachers appeal? Who has the fi nal say in that appeals process? How much time do appeals processes take? Can teachers appeal APPR issues through the regular contractual grievance-arbitration procedure? This report addresses these questions by analyzing APPR appeal procedures for all New York State school districts. The data analyzed was gathered by coding the provisions of the APPR appeal procedures, which are publicly available on the New York State Department of Education website (1).
  • Item
    New York State Teacher Salary Report
    Colvin, Alexander; Klingel, Sally; Boehme, Simon; Donovan, Susanne (2013-12-01)
    Teachers are central to the success of any education system and the salaries paid to teachers are among the most important issues for both school districts and the unions that represent teachers. For school districts, teacher salaries are a major com- ponent of district budgets. Teacher salary levels are also a crucial factor in attracting and retaining quality educators. This report presents data on teacher salary levels based on teacher contracts throughout New York State. In addition to reporting overall statewide salary levels, it also documents the wide variation in teacher salary levels across New York State. This New York State Teacher Salary Report was prepared by the Bargaining for Better Schools (BBS) project, which is an initiative of the ILR School at Cornell University through the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution and the Worker Institute. The data provided in this report comes from an analysis of the teacher contracts from every school district in the State of New York. The database of information came from two sources, both of which are publicly available on websites: DigitalCommons at ILR and SeeThroughNY, each of which contain the full text of teacher contracts, i.e. collective bargaining agreements and asso- ciated memoranda of understanding. The most recent contract from either website was selected for inclusion in this data.
  • Item
    APPR Appeals Process Report: Panels
    Colvin, Alexander; Klingel, Sally; Johnson, Honore (2015-02-01)
    [Excerpt] This report describes the characteristics of joint panels and examines where they are being used in New York State to resolve APPR teacher evaluation disputes. The information presented here was gathered by analyzing the provisions of the APPR appeal procedures, which are publicly available on the New York State Department of Education website.
  • Item
    Facilitating Conflict Resolution in Union-Management Relations: A Guide for Neutrals
    Chaykowski, Richard; Cutcher-Gershenfeld, Joel; Kochan, Thomas A.; Merchant, Christina Sickles (2001-01-01)
    Over fifty years ago George Taylor, one of the most highly respected labor-management neutrals of his time, called for third parties to take on what he termed "a mantle of responsibility for labor-management relations." Today, wide ranges of practitioners are assuming this responsibility. They are playing a variety of internal and external roles, as labor arbitrators, mediators, consultants, facilitators, dispute system designers, leaders serving on joint committees, and countless others. These individuals strive to rise above the partisan pressures that are found in any union-management relationship by helping to resolve disputes, foster problem solving, and build new institutional relations. In doing so, they are helping the institution of collective bargaining adapt in ways necessary for it to continue to be a key societal element into the next century. As dispute resolution professionals, we need to understand the range of practices now found in different relationships, the types of roles neutrals might play, and the principles that should guide neutrals as they carry out these roles. The purpose of this report, therefore, is to outline principles for SPIDR members, other neutrals, and the parties who utilize the services of third party neutrals in contemporary labor-management relations. Specifically, we have three target audiences in mind: labor relations neutrals, steeped in the institutional nuances of industrial relations (primarily arbitrators and mediators), who are being challenged to help parties adapt to new circumstances; third-party neutrals experienced in settings outside of labor relations who are or will be working with parties in unionized settings; internal facilitator sand change agents (from labor or management) who are helping to solve problems and resolve disputes in the workplace. Some points in this report may be completely obvious to one part of the target audience but an essential caution to another. Some of the recommendations will be controversial since they reflect an activist view of third-party roles. Importantly, this is not an overall guide to best practice for labor-management relations; instead, it is a guide to the role of dispute resolution professionals in the labor-management context. We hope that it stimulates further constructive dialogue in the profession.
  • Item
    Designing Integrated Conflict Management Systems: Guidelines for Practitioners and Decision Makers in Organizations
    Institute on Conflict Resolution; Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution (2001-01-01)
    A committee of the ADR (alternative dispute resolution) in the Workplace Initiative of the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution (SPIDR) prepared this document for employers, managers, labor representatives, employees, civil and human rights organizations, and others who interact with organizations. In this document we explain why organizations should consider developing integrated conflict management systems to prevent and resolve conflict, and we provide practical guidelines for designing and implementing such systems. The principles identified in this document can also be used to manage external conflict with customers, clients, and the public. Indeed, we recommend that organizations focus simultaneously on preventing and managing both internal and external conflict. SPIDR recognizes that an integrated conflict management system will work only if designed with input from users and decision makers at all levels of the organization. Each system must be tailored to fit the organization's needs, circumstances, and culture. In developing these systems, experimentation is both necessary and healthy. We hope that this document will provide guidance, encourage experimentation, and contribute to the evolving understanding of how best to design and implement these systems.
  • Item
    An Evaluation of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Pilot Program for Alternative Dispute Resolution
    Seeber, Ronald L.; Schmidle, Timothy P.; Smith, Robert S. (2001-12-01)
    In 1995, the State 0f New York enacted legislation authorizing the establishment of a workers' compensation alternative dispute resolution pilot program for the unionized sector of the construction industry. Collective bargaining agreements could establish an alternative dispute resolution process for resolving claims (including but not limited to mediation and arbitration), use of an agreed managed care organization or list of authorized providers for medical treatment that constitutes the exclusive source of all medical and related treatment, supplemental benefits, return-to-work programs, and vocational rehabilitation programs. The legislation also directed the School ofIndustrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University (ILR) to "evaluate compliance with state and federal due process requirements provided in the collective bargaining agreements authorized by this act, and the use, costs and merits of the alternative dispute resolution system established pursuant to this act." In response to this legislative mandate, ILR reviewed the research previously conducted on alternative dispute resolution (ADR), generally, and in workers' compensation. This included examining the purported advantages and disadvantages of ADR, the prevalence of ADR, and published statistical or anecdotal evidence regarding the impact of ADR. ILR created a research design for claimant-level and project-level analyses, and developed data collection instruments for these analyses that included an injured worker survey for ADR claimants and claimants in the traditional (statutory)workers' compensation system, an Ombudsman's log, a manual of data elements pertaining to ADR and comparison group claimants, and interview questions for ADR signatories and other officials. The findings in this report draw upon a comparison of claimant-level, descriptive statistics (averages) for injured workers in the ADR and traditional (statutory) workers' compensation system; the results of more sophisticated, statistical analyses of claimant-level data; and project-level information (including, but not limited to, interviews with ADR signatories and dispute resolution officials).
  • Item
    Social Capital and the Labor Movement
    Lipsky, David B.; Seeber, Ronald L. (2008-01-01)
    [Excerpt] The causes and consequences of the decline of the American labor movement over recent decades have been examined in countless books and articles. Scholars and commentators, however, have virtually ignored one critical dimension. In this chapter, we focus on the social capital implications of the relative decline of the labor movement. There are several definitions of the term social capital. For our purposes, a relevant definition has been provided by the World Bank: 'Social capital refers to the institutions, relationships, and norms that shape the quality and quantity of a society's social interactions... Social capital is not just the sum of the institutions which underpin a society - it is the glue that holds them together.' The concept of social capital can be traced to the early part of the twentieth century and was implicitly used by philosophers as early as the eighteenth century. But recent research on social capital has been triggered largely by the work of Robert Putnam, especially his seminal books, Making Democracy Work (Putnam, 1993) and Bowling Alone (Putnam, 2000; Coleman, 1990; Adler and Kwon, 2002; Portes, 1998).
  • Item
    Resolving Workplace Disputes in the United States: The Growth of Alternative Dispute Resolution in Employment Relations
    Lipsky, David B.; Seeber, Ronald L. (2000-01-01)
    [Excerpt] For more than a decade a "quiet revolution" has been occurring m the American system of justice. There has been a dramatic growth in the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to resolve disputes that might otherwise be handled through litigation. We define ADR as the use of any form of mediation or arbitration as a substitute for the public judicial or administrative process available to resolve a dispute (Lipsky and Seeber, 1998A}. In the United States mediation, arbitration, and their variants ordinarily are private processes in which the disputants themselves select, hire, and pay the third-party neutral who resolves, or attempts to resolve, their dispute.
  • Item
    Resolving Discrimination Complaints in Employment Arbitration: An Analysis of the Experience in the Securities Industry
    Lamare, J. Ryan; Lipsky, David B. (2018-01-01)
    This article empirically examines whether employment discrimination claims differ from other types of disputes resolved through arbitration. Whether arbitration is appropriate for resolving violations of anti-discrimination statutes at work is a focus of ongoing policy debates. Yet empirical scholarship has rarely considered whether different types of complaints might have distinct characteristics and receive varied outcomes in arbitration. The authors analyze all of the employment arbitration awards for cases filed between 1991 and 2006 in the financial services industry to determine whether differences in the type of allegation affect award outcomes. They also examine the effects of the financial industry’s decision in 1999 to introduce voluntary arbitration for discrimination claims. Results indicate that discrimination claims largely fared worse in arbitration than did other statutory or nonstatutory claims but that arbitration systems are capable of meaningful self-reform.
  • Item
    Research on Employment Dispute Resolution: Toward a New Paradigm
    Lipsky, David B.; Avgar, Ariel C. (2004-01-01)
    The research on employment dispute resolution has moved through three successive generations, and we believe a fourth generation is now emerging. The emergence of a new generation of research does not necessarily mean that the work associated with a preceding generation has been finished. On the contrary, in common with life in general, the work of one generation usually continues throughout successive generations. We believe that this generational analysis of the evolution of ADR research is helpful in highlighting the avenues explored and those left uncharted. Each generation founded its research on a number of core assumptions about the nature of the phenomenon at hand. Thus, for example, the three generations differ with regard to their assumptions about the forces that influenced the rise of ADR. This variance has led the researchers of each generation to examine different aspects of ADR. One of the challenges facing the next generation of ADR researchers is the integration of these independent insights provided by their predecessors.
  • Item
    Reasons for Employer Non-Participation in Manpower Training Programs for the Disadvantaged
    Fottler, Myron D.; Drotning, John E.; Lipsky, David B. (1971-11-01)
    On-the-job training has become one of the federal government's most current methods of aiding the disadvantaged worker. However, a major problem in implementation is the recruiting of employers who will take part in the programs. The authors of this article present the results of a nationwide study, conducted to determine the underlying reasons for employer non-participation.
  • Item
    Public Sector Collective Bargaining and the Imperative for Service Delivery: An Overview
    Brock, Jonathan; Lipsky, David B. (2003-01-01)
    [Excerpt] When public sector officials and union leaders are willing to enter into cooperative arrangements, the evidence in this volume and elsewhere suggests they usually find that cooperation results in improvements in both the delivery of public services and the quality of work life. Certainly there have been instances when cooperation has failed to produce desirable results, but this volume includes ample testimony to its potential beneficial effects and depicts successful experiences with cooperation at the federal government level, in a number of state governments, in Indianapolis, and elsewhere. Also, we know that in places such as Los Angeles; Phoenix; Portland, Maine; Toledo, Ohio; Cincinnati, Ohio; and numerous other locales the cooperative approach has achieved positive results (U.S. DOL 1996). Yet cooperation in the public sector remains the exception rather than the rule.
  • Item
    Organizational Strategies for the Adoption of Electronic Medical Records: Toward an Understanding of Outcome Variation in Nursing Homes
    Lipsky, David B.; Avgar, Ariel C.; Lamare, James Ryan (2009-01-01)
    [Excerpt] An important element in president-elect Obama's economic stimulus proposal is his plan to invest a significant proportion of federal dollars in installing electronic medical records (EMR) in U.S. healthcare institutions. In emphasizing the need for EMR, Obama is following the advice of numerous healthcare experts who have pointed out that the healthcare sector lags behind other industries in the use of computer technology. They believe the widespread use of EMR would help reduce medical errors, control the costs of healthcare, and lead to significant improvements in the quality of care Americans receive. In this paper we present preliminary results of an ongoing study of the introduction of EMR in 20 nursing homes in the New York City area. Although most observers believe EMR holds great promise for the improvement of healthcare, in fact recent studies have found mixed evidence regarding the effect of EMR on patient outcomes. The evidence we have gathered to date suggests that whether EMR has beneficial effects on the costs and quality of healthcare depends very much on the purposes and objectives nursing home managers and administrators intend to achieve through its use. That is, management strategy and style, we believe, strongly influences healthcare outcomes associated with technological innovation.
  • Item
    Online Dispute Resolution Through the Lens of Bargaining and Negotiation Theory: Toward an Integrated Model
    Lipsky, David B.; Avgar, Ariel C. (2007-01-01)
    [Excerpt] In this article we apply negotiation and bargaining theory to the analysis of online dispute resolution. Our principal objective is to develop testable hypotheses based on negotiation theory that can be used in ODR research. We have not conducted the research necessary to test the hypotheses we develop; however, in a later section of the article we suggest a possible methodology for doing so. There is a vast literature on negotiation and bargaining theory. For the purposes of this article, we realized at the outset that we could only use a small part of that literature in developing a model that might be suitable for empirical testing. We decided to use the "behavioral" theory of negotiation developed by Richard Walton and Robert McKersie, which was initially formulated in the 1960s. This theory has stood the test of time. Initially developed to explain union-management negotiations, it has proven useful in analyzing a wide variety of disputes and conflict situations. In constructing their theory, Walton and McKersie built on the contributions and work of many previous bargaining theorists including economists, sociologists, game theorists, and industrial relations scholars. In this article, we have incorporated a consideration of the foundations on which their theory was based. In the concluding section of the article we discuss briefly how other negotiation and bargaining theories might be applied to the analysis of ODR.
  • Item
    Mandatory Employment Arbitration: Dispelling the Myths
    Lipsky, David B.; Lamare, J. Ryan; Maffie, Michael D. (2014-01-01)
    [Excerpt] Using mandatory arbitration to resolve employment disputes has been a major source of controversy since the practice emerged about twenty‐five years ago. On one side of the debate have been proponents of the practice, who contend that mandatory pre‐dispute arbitration provides a faster and cheaper means of resolving employment disputes than relying on conventional litigation.
  • Item
    Mandatory Arbitration and Inequality of Justice in Employment
    Colvin, Alexander (2014-01-01)
    [Excerpt] In this Paper, I will examine the operation of mandatory arbitration as an employment dispute resolution system to investigate the degree to which it increases or decreases equality of access to justice in employment relations. To address this question, I will use a model of individual employment relations that encompasses four key components. The first component is the structure of rights held by employees. This includes the substantive employment rights provided by federal or state law. It also includes the institutional structure of procedures for enforcement of these rights, such as the incidence and structure of mandatory arbitration procedures. The second component is the sources of power available to employees. In the traditional labor relations realm, union collective bargaining and strike power provided employees with a source of countervailing power against employers. In the individual rights realm, the threat of litigation serves a similar role as a major source of employee power checking the workplace power and authority of employers. A key question regarding mandatory arbitration is to what degree it enhances or diminishes this source of employee power. The third component is the mechanism of employee representation. To effectively articulate and enforce individual employee rights, a well­ functioning mechanism for providing representation to employees is critical. The key question here for mandatory arbitration is how it affects the availability of representation by plaintiff-side employment attorneys who provide the primary mechanism of representation in the individual employment rights litigation system. The fourth component of the model is the pattern of employment relations in the workplace. An effective individual employment rights system does not operate in a vacuum, but rather functions by altering employment relations behaviors in the workplace. Put alternatively, beyond providing remedies for violations of individual rights, the system should also exert a deterrent effect that encourages organizations to uphold these rights in the first place. Regarding mandatory arbitration, the question is whether or not it produces employment relation patterns in the workplace that better protect individual employment rights.
  • Item
    Individual Employment Rights Arbitration in the United States: Actors and Outcomes
    Colvin, Alexander; Gough, Mark D. (2015-10-01)
    The authors examine disposition statistics from employment arbitration cases administered over an 11-year period by the American Arbitration Association (AAA) to investigate the process of dispute resolution in this new institution of employment relations. They investigate the predictors of settlement before the arbitration hearing and then estimate models for the likelihood of employee wins and damage amounts for the 2,802 cases that resulted in an award. Their findings show that larger-scale employers who are involved in more arbitration cases tend to have higher win rates and have lower damage awards made against them. This study also provides evidence of a significant repeat employer-arbitrator pair effect; employers that use the same arbitrator on multiple occasions win more often and have lower damages awarded against them than do employers appearing before an arbitrator for the first time. The authors find that self-represented employees tend to settle cases less often, win cases that proceed to a hearing less often, and receive lower damage awards. Female arbitrators and experienced professional labor arbitrators render awards in favor of employees less often than do male arbitrators and other arbitrators.